Westmoreland high school notebook: Dedo, Kindelberger named to all-state volleyball team

Saturday, December 14, 2019 | 6:16 PM

Thirty-six players from the WPIAL were named to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association All-State Teams. Two hail from Westmoreland County: Hempfield senior Mekayla Dedo and Franklin Regional junior Aly Kindelberger.

Dedo, an outside hitter, made the Class AAAA team, and Kindelberger, a middle hitter, was a Class AAA selection.

Both are Division I recruits. Dedo committed to Air Force, and Kindelberger is headed to DePaul.

Signing day approaches

NCAA Division I football commits can sign letters of intent Wednesday, which begins the three-day early signing period.

Some local players set to sign include Norwin quarterback Jack Salopek (Western Michigan), Hempfield linemen Fintan Brose (Delaware) and Cole Graham (St. Francis), Ligonier Valley linemen Michael Petrof (Navy), Christian Jablonski (Lehigh) and Wylie Spiker (St. Francis), Belle Vernon lineman Hayden Baron (Robert Morris) and kicker/punter Cameron Guess (Pitt).

Rettger scholarship

Each year at the Mike Rettger Memorial Basketball Tournamant, Franklin Regional presents a recent graduate with a scholarship in the name of Rettger, a former Panthers athlete who died in 2003 after surgery from a brain illness.

Nick Leopold, a football and basketball standout for the Panthers, was this year’s recipient of a $2,000 scholarship.

Leopold is a freshman at Duquesne, and he is studying nursing.

Ice Cats rolling

How good has the Latrobe hockey team been this season?

Good enough to lead PIHL Class AA in scoring.

The Southeast Division-leading Wildcats (10-0) have scored 68 goals (6.7 gpg) and allowed nine in 10 games.

They have 35 power-play goals and six shutouts.

Cole Ferri leads the team in scoring with 32 points (18 goals, 14 assists), and Alex Walker has 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists).

Five others have double-digit points: Alex Schall (20), JS Florek (15), Jarred Stein (13), Josh Martino (11) and Lane Ruffner (10).

Akron offers BVA pair

Two Belle Vernon football players were offered preferred walk-on opportunities with Akron: seniors Nolan Labuda and Kirk Popelas.

Labuda, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound wide receiver and cornerback, announced Friday he plans to play for the Zips.

He broke numerous receiving records this season for the Leopards, who reached the WPIAL Class 4A championship.

Labuda has program records for career receptions (68), receiving touchdowns (18) and interceptions (13), as well as single-season marks for receptions (48), receiving touchdowns (12) and single-game touchdowns (six).

Popelas (6-3, 260) is a defensive tackle who had an offer from St. Francis (Pa.) last year.

Ward scores

Greensburg Central Catholic senior Nate Ward not only was selected to play in the High School All-American Soccer Game last weekend in Winter Park, Fla., he made the most of the trip.

The Indiana recruit scored a goal for the East all-stars with 35 minutes, 40 seconds to play in the second half, a sliding score off a delayed feed from Akeim Clarke, a forward from Loomie Chaffee (Conn.) and a North Carolina recruit.

Ward took the game ball home as a souvenir after a 4-3 loss to the West.

He added another honor when he was named to the Best XI Team.

Ward played a different position than he’s used to — right back — in the all-star game.

“It was a great experience. Tons of fun,” said Ward, the Tribune-Review Westmoreland Boys Soccer Player of the Year. “Getting to keep the ball is also pretty cool. It’s always fun playing with high-caliber players.”

DiRienzo facing Spartans

Hempfield will go against a basketball player who had one of the better single-game performances the WPIAL has seen in years Tuesday night when the Spartans host Bethel Park.

Senior 6-foot-4 guard Tommy DiRienzo scored 51 points last Tuesday in a 107-80 home victory over Trinity. What’s even more impressive than the total is the efficiency. DiRienzo made 19 of 22 shots, including 9 of 11 from 3-point range.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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